What did you study?
In secondary school, I took Latin and Modern Languages at Saint Theresa College in Kapelle-Op-Den-Bos. They had some excellent language teachers who really inspired me. I loved reading and enjoyed writing too. And yes, I even took pleasure in translating Latin texts! In my spare time, I was often creative. My creativity was a significant factor in deciding what to study next. I chose to study graphic design at Sint-Lucas (now LUCA school of arts) in Ghent and graduated with distinction. At the same time, language always remained an important factor in my graphic work.
What did you do in your previous jobs?
I first had a few short-lived jobs in the graphics sector, but I never really found my niche anywhere. In 2001, I ended up working in the DTP department at SGS Documentation Services. I had a long and varied career at this company and finished there 15 years later as a Project Coordinator. In this position, I mainly took care of the technical documentation for Atlas Copco, from start (gathering input) to finish (having the final English manual translated). Which is where my languages came in …
How did you end up at Blue Lines?
After 15 years, it was time for something new. I found the Project Manager vacancy at Blue Lines on LinkedIn and was immediately attracted by the witty job description. I had been following Blue Lines for a while and could completely relate to their vision, not only in terms of (translation) work but also in a broader sense. I went all out in my application letter, which was followed by a pleasant first interview and an immediate click: I would be delighted to work for this company and with these people.
How would you describe your job at Blue Lines?
As Project Managers, we mainly organise and plan things. We follow up on translation requests from our clients, which includes receiving source texts to be translated, preparing quotations, and drawing up time estimates. Once a quotation has been approved, we look for the most suitable translator and proofreader and prepare the schedule. Once the proofreader has delivered, we cross-check the translation and then deliver it to the client. Online meetings and briefings for copywriting assignments are becoming more and more part of the job as well. One of the great things about Blue Lines is that we receive a wide range of texts from an equally wide range of clients. We deal with short creative copy as well as longer articles; sometimes we have to react fast, other times we can take things at a slower pace. This variety keeps the job fresh and exciting.
How would you describe Blue Lines?
An enthusiastic team of motivated people who do their utmost to consistently deliver high-quality work in an enjoyable working environment. We all help each other out, and there’s a lot of mutual appreciation. The workplace is fabulous too, with plenty of light, a jungle of plants, and a kitchen that always has a wide range of teas, fresh coffee, and delicious snacks.
Can you tell us about your family?
I am mum to Ilias and Mingus, and I’ve been Koen’s girlfriend for more than 20 years.
Hobbies, passions, secrets, tall stories?
I’m a total Pilates devotee. Every Sunday morning at 9.30 am, I will be ready on a yoga mat for an hour of hard work. My back is my weak spot, and Pilates really helps! Another hobby that emerged during the pandemic is ‘latte – or chai latte – walks’. I go out for a nice walk in the city with a friend, neighbour or my partner, dropping in at the coolest coffee bars in Ghent for a latte or chai latte, drinking it there or on the move. At quieter times, you’ll often find me with my nose in a book. I like reading novels that offer that little bit extra: Haruki Murakami, Jonathan Franzen and Nino Haratischwili are some of my favourites.
What is your biggest challenge at work?
Creating and maintaining tranquillity in times of chaos.
What motivates you?
It is always nice when clients give positive feedback, and it is great to convey their words of praise to our translators as well.
What profession would you never be able/willing to pursue?
A job in which you just carry out the work, where you have to keep a low profile, and where someone else does all your planning for you.
What qualities do you need to have to be a good Project Manager?
The ability to organise and plan well, an aptitude for multitasking, prioritising quality, and an eye for detail. Not to mention a boundless optimism and desire to go for it again and again.
What kinds of things are still on your bucket list?
I can’t answer that question.
Is there a question we can’t ask you?
What kinds of things are still on your bucket list? 😉 I’m not much of a dreamer, I live very much from day to day and like working on concrete projects. Even just the idea of drawing up a bucket list gives me the creeps!